In the latest chapter of the ongoing saga between Ben Simmons and the Philadelphia 76ers, a new string has surfaced: the three-time All-Star point guard reportedly doesn’t want to play with center Joel Embiid anymore.
A day after Embiid said he was rebuffed in his attempt to visit Simmons in Los Angeles, The Athletic reports that there was a good reason.
“It has run its course,” an anonymous source told The Athletic of the Simmons-Embiid pairing.
Per the report, Simmons was sure he would have been traded by now given that he told Sixers managing partner Josh Harris straight up last month in L.A. that he no longer wanted to play for the team. The meeting took place at the home of Simmons’ agent, Rich Paul.
Instead, Sixers general manager Daryl Morey, coach Doc Rivers and Embiid all made it clear during Monday’s media day that they wanted Simmons back and were optimistic that he would return.
“We expect him to be a 76er,” Morey said.
At issue for Simmons is playing style, per The Athletic. Simmons sees Embiid clogging up the driving lanes that are key to Simmons’ success.
The 76ers made Simmons the No. 1 overall pick of the 2016 NBA Draft. He sat out his first campaign with a foot injury, but in 275 games over four seasons, he is averaging 15.9 points, 7.7 assists and 8.1 rebounds. His 2020-21 averages — 14.3 points, 6.9 assists and 7.2 rebounds — were career lows.